Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will likely see his day in court — despite two attempts to have the case against him dismissed.
The potential 2016 GOP hopeful is facing criminal charges related to abuse of power, and the judge on Tuesday refused to nullify the two charges against him on constitutional grounds, the Associated Press reported. The next day, Perry said the ongoing investigation won’t delay his preparations for a possible presidential run.
A grand jury last August indicted the then-governor on two felony counts that originated from his threat in 2013 to veto millions of dollars of funding for part of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s office unless she resigned following her drunken driving conviction in April of that year. When she refused, he followed through and vetoed $7.5 million slated for the state’s Public Integrity Unit.
Perry’s attorneys argued during pretrial hearings that the judge should dismiss the case because of technicalities. One example they cited was that special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, was allegedly not sworn in properly. In November, Perry defended his actions as legal.
The governor, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in the 2012 election and is openly considering a 2016 presidential bid, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He celebrated his booking with a smile in his mugshot and ice cream afterward in what seemed like an attempt to downplay the possibility that the indictment will harm his chances at a spot in the White House. He is the Lone Star State’s longest-serving governor.